Hard to think of how this particular name could ever get confused. I mean who would think of that connection? The bird to which that name is used, is a very
different thing. A quick check finds this.
The white-tailed tropicbird, or golden bosun, is a Christmas Island icon.
Slightly smaller than the red-tailed tropicbird, this beautiful seabird is found from the western Pacific to the Caribbean. But Christmas Island is home to a unique subspecies whose gold-tinged
feathers have earned it its local name – the golden bosun.
Golden bosuns forage at sea, diving into the water to feed on fish and squid.
They breed all year round on Christmas Island, laying their eggs in rock crevices and the hollows of rainforest trees.
From: Canberrabirds [
On Behalf Of jandaholland--- via Canberrabirds
Sent: Tuesday, 17 January, 2023 8:02 AM
To: 'John Layton';
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] "Golden Bosun Bird"
Many thanks John, Koel fledglings can vary in colour from very light to very very golden, there were many examples of the latter in the bumper 2020-2021 season. The single local (Rivett) fledgling I’ve observed this season was very brown.
Yours is the 17th that I’m aware of so far this season. Regards Jack Holland
From: Canberrabirds <>
On Behalf Of John Layton via Canberrabirds
Sent: Tuesday, 17 January 2023 7:22 AM
Subject: [Canberrabirds] "Golden Bosun Bird"
The Golden Bosun Bird of Weetangera
Received an excited phone call from a non-birding friend yesterday morning to say there was a “Golden Bosun” in his fig tree. I expressed extreme doubt, nonetheless, he couldn't
imagine that it was anything else. He had seen Golden Bosuns in a documentary about Christmas Island one time. (😁)
"You must see come over quick and look, it positively glows like gold when the sun's on it."
"Fool's gold," I thought but said nothing and drove to Weetangera where I was just in time to get a good view of a remarkably golden coloured young koel before a clangour of Pied
Currawongs sent it to a large plum tree in a neighbouring yard. Except for currawongs, no other birds were seen near it.
I'm still very much on a learning curve when it comes to koels and haven't noticed a young one before, certainly not one sporting such remarkably golden plumage. Put it this way,
on a scale of one to ten indicating the degree of golden colour, this chick would score a good number 9. Would it be an unusual specimen?